CentreSteer #87 – Bloody Knuckles Club

Sponsor: Commonwealth Classics

The eighty-seventh episode

Buy me a TeaBuy me a Tea

Guest: Ulrich Knuchel, Bloody Knuckles Club

Nut & Bolt Restoration PDF
1949 Series I Fire Truck
Series I Restoration

Episode 158 – Centerforce Clutches

Episode 158 of The 4×4 Podcast is brought to you by Artemis Overland Hardware.  Artemis Overland Hardware is a family business with a huge selection of overland equipment in stock for online orders or you can visit the showroom located in Springfield, Missouri.  Either way, Artemis Overland Hardware will get you equipped and ready for … Continue reading »

Episode 443 – YOU Create The Next Jeep Easter Egg!

This Week In Jeep: 

I’ll Give Them an “A” For Effort…

Just what on earth would cause a Wrangler, a Raptor and a $300K sport boat all to sink in one afternoon? …”hold muh beer – I got this” In all seriousness it was a scene straight out of a Disney Goofy movie or perhaps a modern day remake of the three stooges. In any case, Cedar Lake, Indianna was the place to be to catch this S-show as it unfolded. They say the road to hell is paved with best intentions, and I’m sure it was in the best of intentions when Cedar Lake suddenly found itself to be more of a parking lot than a body of water. Apparently a rather rich but not too bright family attempted to rescue their sinking boat by using the family vehicles according to emergency personnel Saturday evening. We are told the owner did not bring his helicopter out to assist. That may prove to have been the biggest mistake of all, and there’s plenty to go around. The owner of the vehicles and boat is now in deep trouble with the Indiana Conservation Police and The Cedar Lake Fire Department Marine Unit too. While their insurance company isn’t likely too happy either, it’s also possible that the state of Indiana may have a word or two for them as well.  Cedar Lake is a state-owned body of water, and driving one vehicle (let alone two) into it is a no-go. Pair that with the potential for oil pollution and you’ve got an even stickier situation than what you see on the surface. …which is two floating trucks and a sinking boat.  You see, when you’re too rich to have enough smarts to remember the transom plug for your super expensive high performance super boat as you put it into the water, I can honestly say that it doesn’t take millions of dollars to have two brain cells to rub together to realize that maybe driving your tricked out ford raptor down the boat ramp and into the water to save said boat, now karmically sinking into the lake it was so haphazardly launched into, isn’t the brightest of ideas… and you got what you deserved. I would even go WAY out on a limb and venture to say that any number of you listening right now wouldn’t need a seven figure income or a bottomless trust fund to realize that it might also be a bad idea to then grab your even more tricked out Jeep Wrangler and drive IT into the water to attempt to save either the boat or the raptor because there’s no way in hell you’re stupid enough to think that you honestly had a chance at saving both… did you?…oh god you were! Maybe I’m missing something. I personally happen to have it on good authority that installing a lift kit and large off road tires, does not make your Jeep float like a boat, or turn your ford raptor into a marine recovery vehicle. But perhaps I installed mine wrong, I dunno. It seems I’m seeing more and more stupidity of this level these days, as more and more trust fund babies are becoming YouTube stars by doing stupid shit. Or to them it’s acting normal on a Tuesday. Yes, please, take this one of a kind six figure Jeep and then jump it off a motocross ramp, bounce the engine of the rev limiter until you see smoke spewing out the tailpipe, and burn out that transfer case as you do endless 4 wheel burnouts before laughing hysterically as the engine that you spent tens of thousands of dollars on seize up like bear trap on a deer leg. I don’t know about you, but that’s going to be a no good very bad day when my Jeep sinks into a lake, but for people like this who have more money than sense, it just goes to show that even owning a Jeep doesn’t make you smart enough to know how to use one. Unfortunately it’s people like this that give Jeepers and off road enthusiasts alike a bad name. What’s more unfortunate is that despite what is likely a half million dollar insurance claim, and who knows what sort of environmental fines, these people will be back at this kind of douchebaggery in no time with nary a lesson learned. I guess for the rest of us, people like you and me, it’s just more entertainment and a reason to shake our head and not give these idiots the attention they are so desperate to receive.

Want To Be The Creator Of The Next Jeep Easter Egg?

The parent company to Jeep, FCA is giving Jeep owners and fans alike the opportunity to create the next “Easter Egg” to hide on a future Jeep model. As if bragging rights like that aren’t enough, along with your idea going to the production line, you will also get the chance to win a new Jeep vehicle. For those who have been living under a rock for the last 75 years, “Easter Eggs” in the automotive context are unpublicized style elements hidden on vehicles, and have been around since Willy’s was on the battlefield. So for all you thinking you just discovered the lost treasure of Atlantis by finding a pair of flip flops, a gecko, or spider web…. you need to calm your neglected and overly sheltered ass down. You’re not special and most of us have known about many of these for several years. Hell, even I reported on the easter eggs on the new Cherokee before it even came out, and that was like 6 years ago. From little images of Jeep grilles to the three digits “419,” or a 1941 Jeep Willys driving up a mountain, Jeep fans around the world are discovering the Easter eggs hidden on their vehicles, then posting their finds on social media like they are the first ever. It’s comical and to this seasoned Jeeper a little sad. But, If you think you have the right idea, the right design or uniquely clever concept for the next generation of Jeep Easter Eggs, then you need to hurry up, slacker. The contest runs through July 2 (thats a week from when this was recorded) and ideas can be submitted at www.TheNextJeepEasterEgg.com The judging panel includes Jeep brand executives and designers but oddly enough no one from The Jeep Talk Show made it to the Judging panel. And we’re pretty sure they got the memo. The winner will be announced July 31 and will receive a new Jeep vehicle of their choice as the grand prize. And for those who grew up thinking that everyone is a winner…? Well they’re not. There’s only one winner in this contest, and if you don’t get the Jeep, guess what, you lost. So suck it up buttercup, put on your big kid pants and join the rest of us in embracing mediocrity. In the meantime if you want to see all the Jeep Easter Eggs for yourself, just look for the millennial in a parking lot or driveway holding their phone the wrong way in front of their jeep acting like they just won the lottery.

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk:

What is that Flappy-Buzzing-Popping Sound Coming From My Speakers?

Many of us (who are now a little hard of hearing) have been there. Too many times, judging by the ringing in my ear. You know what I’m talking about. The sun was out, you got off early on a friday and you just got a raise. You’re driving down the road, and all the lights are green when suddenly one of your favorite songs comes on, and you just HAVE to crank it to 11. The problem is that we all HAVE been there too many times, and for some of us, our stereo’s don’t sound the same anymore. Maybe there was a big “POP” ..and now nothing in the audio system works. Maybe it’s just that one speaker that is constantly making noise now, or the sound bar quit on you. Any number of issues can arise when a speaker blows and sometimes it’s a lot more than a voice coil that just fried. Speakers are a wonderful invention and the technology behind them is still making advancements 144 years after their invention. Speakers can blow for any number of reasons, and there are all sorts of states of  a blown speaker. Just because a speaker blows doesn’t mean it stops working. If this has happened to you, don’t worry, its not the end of the world, but if you have a speaker making noise, it may not necessarily be blown either. It’s been a little while since we’ve touched bases on the audio side of the electronics of our Jeeps. Oh sure we spend plenty of time talking about double din head units, alarms, and auxiliary lighting with cool switches. But we’ve been neglecting the one thing that gets used almost as much as the ignition in our Jeeps and that’s the audio system. I’m going to focus on the speakers for today though, and talk about some of the things that can cause a speaker to make a funny noise and what to do about it. If the system is shut down completely, meaning there’s not even a display on the stereo, then chances are it’s a power supply issue and you should probably check the fuse panel.  If the display is on, but no sound is coming out, then things start to get a little tricky. You could have a completely shorted out speaker and the system is in a protection mode to keep the amp that drives the speakers from incurring damage. The amp in the system itself could be bad. (external for premium system and internal for standard equipment.) It could also be the stereo itself, but we’ll check the speakers first to verify. Testing a speaker is as easy as grabbing an ohm meter, or a digital multimeter or DMM. With the meter set to OHMS (that’s the little omega symbol or horse shoe shape icon) you will measure the resistance of the speaker across the voice coil. The voice coil is the heart of a speaker, and is essentially a thin tube with very small wire wrapped around it like a coil. When the voltage from the stereo is sent down the speaker wire, this voltage passing through this coil creates a magnetic field which reacts to the stationary magnet on the back of the speaker basket. The oscillation of this signal through the magnetic field forces the coil back and forth, and with the cone of the speaker attached to one end, the result is motive force turned into audible sound waves. Almost every automotive speaker should have a nominal resistance of 4 ohms. If you see more than a half ohm one way or the other on a calibrated meter then you know the speaker is bad or at least going bad.  To determine if your meter is calibrated to a zero ohm resistance, touch the two probes together and your meter should read 0.0, if it doesn’t then the number displayed is your resistance offset and you’ll need to do some math. The closer to zero a speaker measures, the closer to a dead short that is. And you don’t need electrical certifications to know that a short in a stereo system is a bad thing that you don’t want. Speaker resistance can be measured from the back of the stereo at the plug with it disconnected from the stereo. Or they can be measured from the back of the speaker itself. Pulling the door panel and inspecting the speaker is a good way to tell what condition the system as a whole is. If you have an older Jeep that still has the original system, then chances are those speakers are shot. A speaker doesn’t have to have a blown voice coil to be bad either. The surround the part that attaches the cone of the speaker to it’s frame or basket or the cone itself can deteriorate causing a severe lack in sound quality and output. This happens from excessive exposure to moisture and UV damage from the sun or exposure to petroleum based chemicals. Too much sun can even make plastic cone speakers brittle over time, and their cones can crack from merely closing the door too hard. So even if the Jeep has aftermarket speakers, they could be due for a refreshing.  A trained ear can oftentimes pick up the slightest issue in a system, so don’t be afraid to get the opinion of a tech from the stereo shop. These guys go through extensive training and have the ears to pick up on things that you may be used to or just taken for granted as a part of owning a noisy Jeep. And this is where I say the old Russian proverb comes into play – TRUST BUT VERIFY – You don’t have to take the stereo techs advice as gospel, so have a buddy with more tools than you help you out with some testing and inspecting. You may find that you were being sold, or you may find the tech was right and you have some audio repairs ahead of you. This can be as simple as reconnecting a loose wire, repairing a broken wire, or simply remounting a speaker that came loose. Of course you could be in a situation where replacing the speakers is necessary because of physical damage to the cone or voice coil. Or from electrical damage from excessive volume or too much wattage from a poorly tuned amp or system. Honestly there are a hundred reasons why your speaker just started making noise, and I could spend two episodes just talking about it. But if you are in the market for a new set of speakers, know that there are great sources online to find what speaker size is in what location for what vehicle. They are standardized, so don’t worry that you’ll be forced to buy a specialty Jeep speaker of some kind. As to WHAT you should buy, well that’s a topic for another episode.

Newbie Nuggets:

Inspecting your jeep AFTER a run

After a great day of wheeling it’s always a good idea to take a few minutes to look around and under your Jeep.  You just put it through some rough roads, maybe some 4 wheel drive, maybe even some extreme rock crawling. Double check things to make sure your jeep is in good working order before you hit the road back home. Here are some things to look for. Once off the trial and while airing up, take a look at your tires. Are there chunks missing from the tread or sidewalls? Is there a tree branch stuck in one of your tires that are just barely leaking but you may not want to drive home on it? It’s good to do a once over visibly to make sure there are no issues. Once you are aired up, do a quick check of some basic things to make sure you didn’t bang it too hard while on the trial and something isn’t broken or bent. 1)  Check the shocks – Check to see if they got bent while you were dancing through that rock garden. Are they leaking fluid? Do the bolts at both top and bottom seem to be tight? 2)  Check for any oil or fluid leaks. This is somewhat important. You need oil to keep things like engines and transmissions functioning. You may have kicked something up on the road. Maybe while crawling over a rock you may have peeled your diff cover off. Maybe a well-placed rock poked a hole in your gas tank and you have a slow leak. 3)  Check that your mirrors are back to normal. You may have adjusted them to back out of that obstacle you decided not to take, or you may have pulled them in to get through that tight squeeze. Once at home it’s a good idea to do a more thorough inspection. Depending on what type of terrain you put your Jeep through determines how much inspecting may be necessary. Bill uses a power washer and always does a complete inspection of our jeep top to bottom. Mostly bottom. Although it’s always nice to have a clean and shiny Jeep to drive around town or back and forth to work, it a really good idea to “detail” the bottom side as well. Bill has found things that way and avoided several larger issues, or worse, trail break-downs. He calls himself a little OCD but as he cleans the suspension, hose, brake lines, springs, shocks, drive shafts, etc. he says it’s a great way to find fatigue, stress cracks, and loose or missing bolts. And just for those owners of 2007 to 2011 JKUs that decided to rock crawl, he once found a cracked evap canister and now the “Gascap” alert appears in the display. Yes, he has one ordered – Should be here today. So make sure you create a consistent habit in your inspections and who knows what you may find. Some things to check for; 1)  Check the undercarriage, especially if you don’t have body armor. Check for upper and lower control arm rubber bushings. They tend to get destroyed when you flex the suspension a lot. 2)  Check the oil pan/gas tank 3)  Check for loose connections with wires. Or maybe they are wearing on the frame or springs. A fist full of zip ties goes a long way toward preventing failures on the road or trail. 4)  Check for loose connections with bolts. You don’t need to do a re-torque after every run but just do a visual. Sometimes it’s just enough to catch something that could become a real problem. The old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” really hits home when you’re the one not breaking down on the trail and you get to help your buddy with his breakdown. Just don’t start in with “You know, if you’d just do a little preventive maintenance you wouldn’t have had this problem.” You may find yourself looking for a new trail buddy. Josh, Tammy & Tony, what type of after trail inspection do you do on your jeep?

Interview with:

Dave Gutwillig – owner/fabricator – Brave Motorsports

Dave has been involved in the automotive industry for 16 years, working in a variety of different areas to develop his skill sets.  While working at Skip Barber Racing School, he learned the fundamentals of chassis repair, race prep, and race vehicle maintenance.  To enhance his understanding of drive line mechanics, he worked at Longview Driveshaft & 4×4 for several years.  Dave was able to strengthen his fabrication skills as well as build his reputation while working at Javier’s Gulf coast crawl shop, a leading offroad shop in Houston. Dave began racing offroad in 2010 and went on to win the first race that he ever competed in, M.O.R.O.C. at Brazos Valley Offroad Ranch.  He has finished in the top 5 twice at the King of the Canyons Endurance race at canyons offroad park in Fredericksburg, TX.  Dave raced the King of the Hammers in 2011, finishing 37th out of 100 racers, of which only 47 vehicles finished the race.  He has raced the Baja Racing of Texas Texana 250 multiple times and was an extra driver for our friends at Krawltex in the chupacabra 300, also in Texana.  Dave and his team came in second place in his class at the texas desert racing “twin 150s”, a 300 mile race in the west Texas desert.  From 101 classes and rock crawling with friends, rock races and obstacle courses, weekends of driving down a 130 mile long 4wd-only beach, to powering through the desert in the hardest offroad race in the USA, Dave has done it.  with this experience and the prep that comes with it, he has gained the first hand knowledge it takes to build and maintain the proper offroad vehicle for any activity. https://bravemotorsports.com/

Campfire Side Chat:

Chris, Greg, Travis, Josh, Tammy, and Tony, meet around the campfire to talk about…  Would you be willing to sacrifice modding your Jeep to have a tow rig and trailer?”  You can join us around the campfire each Thursday night.  Follow us on Facebook to find out how you can join via Zoom conference call!

Wheeling Where:

PA Jeeps Inc. – “All Breeds Jeep Show” 

Although CoViD 19 has cancelled the 25th annual All Breeds Jeep Show, PA Jeeps, Inc. wants to still extend our Show Membership Special (18 months of membership for $50.00), to those who had planned on attending the show this year.  PA Jeeps, Inc. has offered this Membership Special for many years and the club felt we should still offer the Membership Special to those Jeep owners that are interested in joining a Jeep club.  The Show Membership Special is for New Members only. The Show Membership Special will only be available on the weekend our show was scheduled.  So, if you would like to become a member of PA Jeeps, Inc., just sign up on the weekend of July 18-19, 2020.  The Special will start at 8:00 am Saturday July 18, 2020 and run through 6:00 pm Sunday July 19, 2020.  At that time, you will receive a membership that is valid until 12/31/2021.  That’s 18 months of fun and frivolity.  Hope you sign up !!! http://pajeeps.org/index.php/membership/

Links Mentioned in this Episode: